Learn why integration is absolutely necessary to keep your sales team engaged and selling.
By Susan Saldibar
Who’s getting all the leads? Or, a better question, according to Jason McCLoud, VP of Digital Marketing for Sage Age, a Senior Housing partner, would be “Who is getting all the business?” Because the distance between a lead and closed business can be long and wide and often opportunity ends up “falling on the floor”.
So who is getting all the business?
The answer may well be your competitors. Especially new ones. Since they are starting from scratch, they can get the latest platforms up and working for them on day one. In the software world this was called “leapfrogging the competition”. And it’s happening now more than ever as new senior living communities continue to spring up.
In this 3-Part series we’ll examine the key elements of todays sophisticated lead management platforms and how they have changed forever the lead management landscape. Let’s start with the cornerstone to lead management: Integration of lead-generating systems.
According to Jason, about 9 out of 10 existing senior living communities he visits have, at most, a single integration point. That means, for the most part, they are still combing through emails, leaving sticky notes on sales directors doors, etc. “They may integrate their website with their CRM and stop there,” says Jason. “But the website is only one integration point; the others are just as critical.”
New communities are integrating all their processes from day one. Here’s where integration is absolutely necessary to keep your sales team engaged and selling:
Website to CRM: Every time someone fills out a “request more information” form on your site it should be instantly connected to the CRM, not to the desktop in the form of an email. “When a lead comes in the form of an email, it gets mixed in with all the other emails a sales rep may have,” says Jason. “Then you have your talented sales professionals spending valuable time trying to comb through emails, instead of working on prospect development.”
Third Party Referral Sites to CRM: If you are using Caring.com, APlaceforMom.com or any other third party lead generation vendors you may have already paid thousands of dollars for those duplicate leads. Why? Because you didn’t identify them before the deadline. By making sure that leads generated by your website are directly input into your CRM, duplicates will quickly stand out and, in many cases, get sent automatically back to the lead vendor. By the way, this is another time saver for sales reps. Do you want them hunting down duplicate leads or scheduling prospect tours?
Call Centers or Inside Sales: This is a key integration point. Everyone needs to be working off the same platform and each entry needs to be kept in a central place where follow up actions can be taken. If you use a call center, the center needs to have seamless access to your CRM. “There should never be a need to port over information from other data sources,” says Jason. “Everyone needs to be working off the same sheet, all the time, in real time.”
“There really shouldn’t be any daylight between a lead and a sales rep,” says Jason. Your sales team should be spending time developing relationships with prospects, not searching and sorting through leads.”
While newer communities are powering up with full system integration, according to Jason, many existing senior living communities are still operating their sales and lead generation vehicles in silos. “Ask yourself,” says Jason, “do you want to lose business to competitors simply because they are able to secure and harvest their leads faster?”
You can visit the Sage Age website for more information on their lead management solutions.